LP1 is the first full-length album by singer/songwriter/dancer/producer Tahliah Barnett, better known by her stage name, FKA twigs. This is the first major musical production by Barnett. She has released two EPs and has one planned for release in 2015. Previously, she has worked as a dancer for music videos. FKA twigs makes songs that are deceivingly minimal. It seems like there’s not a lot going on if you just scratch the surface. Underneath the reserved song structure and sounds lays a much more complex array of textures. The sounds backing her lush vocals are almost constantly changing.
One of my favorite tracks is “Lights On”. It opens with booming, quickly-moving bass and a music box (or other mallet instrument). Once the chorus hits, an upright bass joins the vastly complex mix. Halfway through, there’s a really neat instrumental break that uses church organ, reversed samples, and deep sub-bass tones.
Another noteworthy track is “Hours”. The opening sounds are a mixture of background noise from both natural and digital atmospheres. The paralleled imagery of man-made sounds and natural noises is really interesting, similar to the electro/acoustic mix of sounds throughout the album.
“Video Girl” is one of the more powerful songs on the album. Barnett used to be a background dancer. This song is written about herself, as she said in an interview: “They’d call my agent directly and say, “We want twigs to come in.” I had a reputation for being reliable. When the camera was on, I’d be the one-take wonder, so a lot of directors liked working with me.” In this track, she’s separating herself from her role as a dancer in someone else’s music video and is focusing on her own artistic visions.
FKA twigs has really made a name for herself with this album, despite the legal issues she’s dealing with regarding her stage name. LP1 is an astounding achievement in artistic prowess in the world of R&B art pop.
Favorite Track: Lights On